Daily Archives: March 18, 2009

Limping, Hobbling, and Collapsing with the Stars

Another injury hits Dancing with the Stars.

This week’s casualty – head-case and public urinater Steve-O. During the dress rehearsal, he fell on his microphone pack and jarred his spine. Of course, given what he does for a living, which is basically try to annihilate himself by any means possible, a jarred spine should have been peanuts. An embarrassing inconvenience at best. Like what getting a nose zit would be to the rest of us. But no, it benched him for the live broadcast and he had to be judged on his rehearsal performance.

Last week it was TV host Nancy O’Dell’s turn, with a leg injury that required surgery, and also the singer Jewel who fractured not one, but both of her tibias, which takes some doing. Both retired permanently from the contest and were replaced.

And I thought that was it. Bit of drama, bit of excitement, the stuff that makes for great television, and that’s all.

But then I did some research – well, as much as I research anything really – and discovered that this was only the tibia iceberg, and the roster of “stars” (because most of them aren’t stars really; they’re just people you vaguely remember from TV or sport who won’t go away) injured thus far during this show’s eight seasons reads like the passenger log on the Titanic. 

During season six, for instance, I recall that Kristi Yamaguchi, the ice-skater, almost snapped an ankle, Christian de la Fuente (isn’t he a model?) ruptured a tendon and was rushed to hospital, while lovely, lovely Jane Seymour, who played a doctor on TV, contracted food poisoning and presumably healed herself.

And who doesn’t remember Marie Osmond fainting in one show, which was due to fatigue and the lights, not because she craves attention and was trying to win sympathy from the judges when it looked like she might be voted off, you understand.

Then there was trashy socialite Kim Kardashian who stepped on broken glass and cut her foot, and comedian Jeffrey Ross who somehow managed to scratch the cornea of his left eye (which I guess is easy to do when you’re dancing, right?) and was forced to wear an eye patch from then on. Additionally, athlete Misty May-Treanor ruptured her Achilles tendon and needed surgery that put her out of the competition. And Susan Lucci, the soap actress, sprained her right ankle, fracturing two bones. 

Meanwhile, almost total nonentity Brooke Burke injured her foot while jitterbugging and was hospitalized. (Jitterbugging without medical supervision has since been banned by the World Health Organization). Boy band singer Lance Bass accidentally fractured a toe. Billionaire Apple co-founder and forklift truck-sized podge Steve Wozniak crushed his right ankle, only this was not an accident, I read somewhere – he was simply too fat, apparently, and the human body was not built to support such weight.  

Then Kym Johnson (model: I had to look that one up) hyperextended a leg, Mark Ballas (I’m struggling, but I think he’s a professional ballroom dancer) dislocated a shoulder and was packed off to hospital, and Karina Smirnoff (Oh God, I have no idea) sustained a neck injury that required urgent surgery, then later, for the sake of completeness, sprained her ankle as well. Not forgetting Derek Hough (nope – no clue), who injured his neck too. Then he contracted food poisoning, and also blacked out after hitting his head on something hard. The floor was considered the likeliest culprit.

Finally, Julianne Hough (Derek’s sister; pretty much unknown until she won this competition. Twice. Now she’s a star. So the show became a self-fulfilling prophecy kind of thing ) was laid up with stomach pains so bad that she was forbidden from taking part in hip-hop rehearsals the next day. Turned out she had enometriosis and had to have her appendix removed.  

I mean, that’s a pretty impressive list, right?

I haven’t even included Sara Evans, who was a different kind of casualty: she withdrew from the show because of her divorce.  And Vincent Pastore, who couldn’t deal with the physical demands – “You mean I have to dance? Every week?” – and ducked out before he got really hurt. Wise man.

And the reason I’m dragging up so much water that we all thought had passed under the bridge?  Why am I bothering?

Because I don’t feel well today for some reason, but I still showed up for work, people, and wrote this. Three cheers for me, I say. Now I must go lie down.


Dancing with the Stars gets four magic carpets out of five.

TV Swami – he say YES.

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